2015 saw a number of high-profile cyber-sex security breaches. Most prominent was the Ashley Madison scandal, in which the personal details of over 37 million people were exposed through the hacking of a website that encourages and facilitates extramarital affairs. Worryingly for employers, many subscribers to the website had signed up using their professional e-mail accounts. Other examples, such as Snapchat or Netflix, are less unsavoury, but they may be equally disruptive and potentially dangerous to an employer’s interests: apart from the potential loss of reputation, such behaviour puts the integrity of the security systems implemented by employers at risk.
More and more, the lines between work and personal technologies become blurred, so that many employees no longer make a conscious distinction between work email addresses and personal ones. Employers are strongly encouraged to elaborate on IT security systems in place, as well as policies describing the appropriate use of the company’s network and the professional email accounts linked thereto. However, in the face of these deliberate breaches by employees, who may not even be aware that they are breaching the employer’s policy, let alone realise that their transgressions may cause harm, many employers wonder what they can do to limit their exposure caused by such behaviour.